Progesterone Levels?

On Friday night I was chatting with the midwife we used for Stella’s delivery, and she asked if I had checked my progesterone levels yet. I told her I hadn’t, and she said that since I seemed to have issues with that in the past, she wanted that checked and me started on supps immediately since they wouldn’t hurt but could possibly help. I picked up the Rx yesterday ($92 for 30 pills – have I mentioned how much I hate my insurance?!), and thank God I did – my progesterone level came back at 8.8. I was at 33.8 at this point with Stella!

She wasn’t overly concerned, but did say she wanted that number to be higher and to start the supplements immediately. It seems crazy low to me – but I guess that’s because my only frame of reference is from my pregnancy with Stella where I started vaginal supps a couple of days after the IUI. By 4w I was at 33.8 – at 8w I had dropped to 10.5, and I stabilized at 40+ by 10w. The midwife told me he would be happy with 25 by 10w.

So:

  1. What level did your docs want your progesterone at in early pregnancy?
  2. Did you take the P4 supps vaginally or orally? I’ve always done vaginally (gross, goopy shit) but this Rx says orally and that’s what my midwife told me too. Thoughts? I guess I’m worried it’s not as effective when taken orally for some reason, since my RE had me taking them vaginally.

Thanks for the help ladies!

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24 comments

  1. kel24 · · Reply

    My RE for my first 2 children had me take them vaginally and wanted it at 20 or higher I believe. I weaned off them by 10 wks.

    My “surprise” pregnancy it was almost 30 so no need to supplement.

    Glad you caught it early!

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    1. SO glad we caught it early – hopefully early enough!

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  2. My levels were super low prior to getting pregnant with Ellie but skyrocketed as soon as I got pregnant (40+). However these last two pregnancies its been low, teens. Have done vaginal supplements both time, as my providers feels it gets to the uterus faster/more efficiently due to the proximity, and the fact that it gets absorbed instead of metabolically digested. My providers usually out their patients on higher doses if they choose the oral route. I agree – its such a nasty pain!!

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    1. I have the 200mg pills – I’m pretty sure that’s what I was on vaginally last time too though. Is that what you had?

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      1. Yep, 200 seems to be the standard dose, to start. They can always increase if needed.

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  3. My levels were really high but I was on two progesterone supps a day. I was probably on one too many. I think I was up near 90 at one point. I think anything higher than 20 is ok. Absorption is probably the best method.

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    1. Sheesh – 90?! That’s crazy! I’m hoping 1/day does the trick for me.

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      1. Yeah we all thought twins for a while there as my hcg was high as well

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  4. mandski · · Reply

    I took sups orally with Mira, but I was told very clearly by my aunt, a doctor, that they’re not as effective orally. Since it was just a precautionary measure for me, oral made more sense anyway. Maybe it’s the same for you?

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    1. Well, the midwife is thinking of it as more precautionary I’m sure – she’s pretty relaxed about everything, but I’m a little more freaked out about it since it seems like 20+ is the number that REs shoot for. Switching to taking it vaginally tonight for sure. Praying this baby hangs in there. UGH. Scary.

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  5. jessica · · Reply

    Hi there! I have been following you since you got pregnant with josie and this is the first time I have commented! I have PCOS as well and I struggle with low progesterone too. After struggling for 3 years I finally conceived naturally and I now have a 15 month old daughter & when she was 9 months old I got a surprise BFP. With both of my pregnancies I had low progesterone, but with my second one my first blood draw, which was when I was about 4 weeks pregnant, showed my progesterone was only 7.5. I was terrified and my dr immediately gave me progesterone supplements & she gave me the choice of doing them orally or vaginally. I did them orally, and I will warn you, doing them orally has some side effects. You may feel tired and nauseous, I felt pretty sick while on them but I just dealt with it because I knew I needed the supplements. After a week my dr checked my levels again and they had jumped to up over 20. I was so relieved! I stayed on them until I was 13 weeks, and I am now 26 weeks pregnant with a healthy little boy! Congrats on your pregnancy, I will be praying for you!

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    1. Thanks Jessica! Good to know that our bodies seem to respond fairly quickly to the supplements. It’s scary shit to think this could go badly so quickly. 😩 Congrats on your surprise #2!!

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  6. My levels were never checked after IVF but I was told that supplements can only help and can not hurt. My levels were always good/high enough during natural cycles. I had both PIO and vaginal supplements.

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  7. My doc had me take them vaginally bc they were more effective that way. I don’t know how much of a difference it makes, but I wanted the MOST effective bc I didn’t want to take any chances!

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  8. I don’t remember what my levels were with Everleigh, but I already had 200 mg from all my IUI’s and IVF cycle, so I would take two of those each night for each cycle until I started af. I doubled up becuase I always used to start af at like 10 dpo. My re said you can take as much progesterone as you want, it will only make you more sleepy. I took them orally. I think I took them until 12 weeks or until she assured me te placenta took over. I was scared to stop, so waited until I stopped bleeding since I had that sch. Scary stuff! But yes! Take em! Just in case! I will check and see if I have any left over I can send you! I had a bunch at one point!

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  9. St. Elsewhere · · Reply

    I always took my progesterone vaginally – goopy drippy yuck, but it is very manageable and it will help the baby.

    There are oral pills too, but my doc told me that the ones taken vaginally reach the uterus faster as they are absorbed locally.

    Do whatever your doc says.

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  10. I can’t comment on orally versus vaginally, but I can say: don’t put them in your butt. (See the very end of this post for how I know … http://bebesuisse.blogspot.ch/2012/09/getting-crazy-stamped-on-my-medical-file.html)

    Glad your midwife thought to check this and that you’re doing what’s necessary to keep those levels high!

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  11. I don’t know my levels as they were never checked, but I’m, of course, put on suppositories after each IUI. At my first clinic it was just 1/day. This second clinic put me on 2/day, but after the chemical pregnancy in January they’ve made it 3/day. Honestly, I still only take 2/day because at 200mg I honestly think that should be fine…

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  12. My levels with Lexi were consistently low – even with the supplements (which I was on both vaginally and PIO injections). With this surprise pregnancy, I insisted they check the level around 6-8 weeks (I don’t remember exactly when they checked it) and it was at 13 – which they were happy with, but I thought was low. Hope all turns out OK!

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  13. mrsjohannarose · · Reply

    I don’t remember what my levels were but I took them vaginally with Fable.

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  14. as the midwife says it can’t hurt to take the supplements! I know my RE wanted them up around 20. I have leftover progesterone supps, and I think K does too, we can send you some. I took endometrin 3x a day vaginally which is a bit overkill for a spontaneous pregnancy, so once or twice a day should be plenty.

    I have some leftover to send as does K (Runningfrmcrazy) please let me know if you need it. I am sorry you’re dealing with this worry!

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  15. I did both vaginal and shots. All of my REs wanted to see a value over 20. My numbers didn’t increase that much vaginally, though some maintain that they won’t, so both REs then put me on both the shots and the suppositories. I asked about the oral pill and they both dismissed it. I weaned off at 14 weeks. I hope your numbers bounce beautifully!

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  16. Late to the game! I wish I remembered what my levels were, but actually, I can’t even recall if they bothered to test them– my protocol involved an automatic course of progesterone suppositories until 10w. ❀

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  17. Sarah · · Reply

    My pro levels were always low. And always freaked me out. I’m worried about any surprise pregnancies I might ha e in the future and not getting on the pro bandwagon right away. I’ve always believed that is why we miscarried years ago. I’m sure the pills are fine but would they exchange for the goopy shit?I’m thinking that is more direct and gets into your bloodstream quicker? You’ll prob be fine since you caught it early enough! God bless that midwife and ordering the pro test 🙂

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